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Bold & Beautiful Easy-Sew Clothes: 15 Unstructured Designs That Fit and Flatter Every Shape, and Are Simple to Make Paperback – April 2, 2013
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"For those who fancy that loose linen look, and for women seeking clothing that is both stylish and modest, this book is an absolute godsend, and will be deeply appreciated." ―Publishers Weekly
About the Author
HABIBE ACIKGOZ creates stylish clothes for modern women. Designed to suit all ages and body types, she takes elements of traditional dress from the Ottoman empire and uses them to embellish garments which appeal to women around the world. Habibe was born in Turkey and studied pattern-making and tailoring before moving to London in 2000. After working as a dressmaker for three years, she began designing clothes and selling them at design fairs through specialist boutiques and online.
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So I am really nervous about making the attempt. If I do it, I will probably make it in muslin (rather than the linen recommended ) as a trial and see if I can figure it out. I like the design enough to make the attempt!
The author has spent a lot of time making the book easy to read and as user friendly as possible. It is well laid out. There are instructions referenced throughout the book. The designs are lovely. An experienced sewer would probably have no problems working things out - but for me - with that many skirt pattern pieces, in a complicated design(there are eight front and back curved and flat panels, and those panels are joined to two other panels and then to a yoke and then to hem pieces, more visual aid of some of the construction would be helpful.
There is a CD included that contains all the patterns in various sizes ( a nice touch)
I just wish I could trust the "easy -sew clothes" claim on the front of the book. It certainly is "Bold and Beautiful"
I've worked with variety of magazines, patterns, and instructions, but this book I have very mixed feelings about.
The final garments are beautiful, and I love every one I've made so far. Getting to that point, however, requires experience because the book instructions, the patterns, and measurements have many errors and mismatches, all of which can be overcome if you know what you are doing. Hence, beginners, you are out of luck, unless you are an instant sewing genius.
1. Not for the beginners, no matter what it claims. Every garment has some gotchas, and some finishing details require some skill. So "Easy-Sew Clothes" on the cover is a false advertisement if you ask me.
2. Photos in the book don't show the details properly, not all garments are shot from behind, and some critically important detail photos are missing. Same applies to step-by-step pictures of pocket making - important steps aren't shown, or shown insufficiently (small pic, poorly lit, tone-on-tone stitching doesn't help, add contrast thread to show the stitching better!)
3. The whole book was created based on the assumption that you have access to a). 3/4" marking paper, or printer and lots of paper, b). 55" wide linen and c). large table to put it all together. 55" wide linen is awfully specific! Cutting layout for smaller or larger (more common) widths would be helpful, for example 44" and 60". The whole concept of printing 72 sheets of paper for 1 tunic appears wasteful to me. Even the layout of patterns on the printable sheet is wasteful - with paper straight grain doesn't matter, right? So why not cram all paper pieces together to utilize as little paper as possible? No, they are all laid out top to bottom in straight grain direction, with large spaces between, so you end up wasting copious amounts of paper in a process. 3/4" paper is very expensive, especially in large widths, which would have been required for these ample fit garments (else you end up taping them together), but even with smaller widths buying a roll just for these specific garments, and then spending hours scaling the patterns using a grid seems like a cruel and unusual punishment. Why not just print a pattern sheet with all patterns overlapping, like Burda magazine and others do and let the dress maker copy patterns using a tracing paper, which will save 1. time, 2. money, 3. paper, 4. allow making patterns in different sizes if needed, or even combining sizes for trickier figures.
4. From the editing point of view, the pattern pieces are laid without attention to where the paper will join - sometimes markings end up right on the joint, so they may "disappear" while taping pieces together, or one humongous pattern piece will end up having a tiny tail end on a separate piece of paper.
5. Printing is not straight forward, at least not to me. If you are to tape paper together, there should be only a small overlap of paper allowed on two sides of the sheet, and on other two, it should go all the way to the edge. Nope, not done either. Printing at 100% scale, as instructed, will crop small bit of pattern on one side, depending on your printer settings. Either adjust the instructions to override the margins, or make sure that they won't get cropped at 100% to make everyone's life easier.
6. Some markings are missing altogether. There are some tricky pieces in the skirts and bottom portions of the dresses, they should be match-marked, and they are not.
7. I've made 3 garments to this point, and they all had pattern mishaps - missing markings, mismatched pieces, wrong length pieces (one place had as much as 3" difference), misplaced markings, and even too many markings (one pocket has one too many pleats marked). I'm making notes about all of this in detail, so that if I ever muster my courage to repeat the experience, at least I'll make corrections from the start instead of redoing it endlessly to correct the errors.
8. Instructions are minimal and are not well thought out - sometimes order of putting pieces together doesn't make sense; sometimes the explanation is incomplete or seems like a copy/paste from another garment without adjusting where needed.
9. 3/8" seam allowances?! Especially where french seam is suggested? It took me a long while to find the information that seam allowances are actually included and how wide. That information is only on the CD in the "how_to_use_this_CD" document. It should be placed in a prominent place in the book, in large font.
10. American version of the above document still uses centimeters, which is another editing blunder. Doesn't bother me, but devil is in the detail, right?
11. Details are numbered, but they also have letters. Some details that are perfectly symmetrical are marked differently and have different numbers for no reason. For example two sides of the same pocket, which are identical and will be attached to a symmetrical piece, but numbered 17 and 19, and have different markings on them.
12. From the finishing point, some pockets gave me great pain: too many layers to stitch through, or instructions suck. Those pockets are what makes the garment sometimes, but unfortunately the instructions are unclear or underdone. Some steps are skipped, I found.
13. And to top them all, same notch mark is used for everything - joint matching, marking centers, marking folding of the hem, etc. Not wise. A small note next to the mark would be helpful, or replace some marks with dots or stars.
This books could be truly great, if it was field tested by a few people and feedback was collected prior to publishing.
Not to discourage the buying, because the garments do look and feel wonderful, but buy with full awareness that careful checking needs to be done before making anything, and then verifying every step and running it in your head coming from your experience would be very helpful indeed.
If you don't have the patience for lots and lots of detail work, this book may be not for you. Don't buy into "simple" and "easy" descriptions.
Also, as a quick note, when reading other reviews, make sure they are from people who actually made the garments. Some glowing reviews say something like "beautiful book, will definitely make some of these" and a 5 star rating. Well, that wouldn't be very accurate, would it?
Most recent customer reviews
1. The patterns are great, unusual, well thought out.
2. The patterns fit Big.Read more